WHILE thousands of pupils across the region enjoyed a day off due to snow earlier this week, one teenager was determined to get school - by any means.
And for 16-year-old farmer's son Will Richardson that meant borrowing one of the family's tractors and driving the eight miles from Hutton Magna to school in Barnard Castle, County Durham.
He was determined the weather would not stop him sitting an hour-long Geography AS exam at Barnard Castle School – and even stopped on the way to pick up a stranded classmate.
Will's parents, John and Christine, farm 1,300 acres at Hutton Fields where the youngster helps look after 200 beef cattle and 150 sheep.
He passed his tractor driving test last May and had promised his pals that one day he would drive to school.
Although it was a novel sight to see Will navigate the John Deere 6630 up the school drive, he is experienced behind the wheel.
“I help out and use the tractor on the farm. For the past three months, dad has been off because he had an operation so I have been doing a lot of the work around the farm,” said the lower sixth student, who has two older sisters.
“It's mainly feeding the stock. With snow on the ground, they can't get grass, so they need plenty of food.”
Barnard Castle is among the minority of schools in the county which have remained open as normal during the cold snap.
“The exam was not too bad – it was worth coming in on the tractor,” said Will.
“If I had not sat the exam now, I would have had to wait until May – I just had to get in.
“I also picked up one of my friends. His mum could not get far in the car, so I collected him at the A66 Motel and brought him in as well.”
Will added: “When I passed my test, I said I would bring it in one day and there were quite a lot of people coming for a look.”
After finishing sixth form, Will hopes to study agricultural engineering at Harper Adams University, in Shropshire.
“I want to take over the farm eventually and this will give me some idea of how to fix the machines."